find your inspiration at the intersection of art and nature
The natural beauty of the St. Croix River has attracted artists and outdoor enthusiasts for generations. This wild and scenic river and its tree covered bluffs create a breathtaking backdrop for Take Me to the River. You are invited to create your own experience as you explore the region's art fairs, open artist studios, pottery events and exhibitions. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the river and the incredible art it inspires. You don't want to miss it.
Art Fairs & Celebrations
Four the St. Croix Valley's top art fairs take place during Take Me to the River each year. River Falls, Marine on St. Croix, Afton and Hudson invite visitors into the communities to shop from local and regional artists and fine craftsmen, explore the natural beauty, and discover the unique character of each river town via Art on the Kinni, Marine Art Fair, Afton Art in the Park and Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival. In Shafer, Franconia Sculpture Park's Art & Artist Celebration provides a unique opportunity to explore newly created, larger than life sculptures while enjoying live music, children's activities and more.
Open Artist Studios
One of the most intriguing ways to purchase art is to meet the artist at an Open Studio. Whether the artist is the host or a guest, the relaxed studio setting makes for a memorable interaction. The artist studios part of Take Me to the River range from space above the Marine General Store and a restored dairy barn to space in a 1980s office building. Yet each location becomes a showcase for award winning artists and their guests at Mary Jo Van Dell - Judd Street Exchange, Abnet Farm Art Show & Sale and Sharon Weiser Art Studio Sale.
River Valley Potters
There is a long and internationally-recognized tradition of pottery in the St. Croix Valley. During Take Me to the River, seven pottery studios and dozens of guest artists will fill lawns, barns and tents with a wide variety of functional and decorative pottery. The River Valley Potters events include Peter Jadoonath Backyard Pottery Sale and Guillermo Cuellar & Friends Fall Pottery Sale in Shafer, Nick Earl Fall Pottery Sale at Abnet Farm just north of Stillwater, and the Western Wisconsin Pottery Tour feature four studios in Hudson, River Falls and Roberts.
An art gallery may seem more intimidating than an art fair, but both The Phipps Center for the Arts and ArtReach St. Croix believe art should be accessible to all. During Take Me to the River, both organizations will be filling their galleries with art celebrating the St. Croix River. At The Phipps, visitors will find "The Heart of the River: Celebrating the First 50 Years of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway," part of the St. Croix River Association's year long celebration. At ArtReach St. Croix in Stillwater, the galleries will feature "A Story of the St. Croix: Pattern of Change," an exhibition looking at the history, present and future of the river.
While You are Here
Food & Lodging
Whether you are looking for a gourmet dinner along the river or a quick bite to make a picnic, you will find just what you are looking for. Making if a long weekend, look no further than the historic inns and welcoming bed & breakfasts to your lodging needs.
The art and music at the art fairs and open studios aren't the only creative outlets in the St. Croix Valley. Retail art galleries, professional theatre groups and live music at various locations keep the arts going well into the evening in many river towns.
Retail & Attractions
There is so much to do in the St. Croix Valley, it can be hard to know where to start. Take a fall colors cruise along the St. Croix National Scenic River Way. Pick up a book at an independent local bookstore. Or maybe learn the history of the birthplace of Minnesota on a trolley tour.
Year-Round Event Calendar
Find year-round events at StCroixSplash.org, a regional online event calendar featuring visual arts, theatre, film, live music, hand-on experiences, outdoor and nature events and much more. The vibrant arts scene in the St. Croix Valley isn't limited to September.